Nothing compares to the unconditional loyalty offered by pets. Whether you own a dog or cat, you can rest assured knowing that they’ll always be at your side. Perhaps this is why over two-thirds of U.S. households own a pet.
If you own a pet, though, you may need to give your heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) a little extra attention. Pets can take a toll on HVAC systems. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your HVAC running optimally.
Clean the Air Vents
Don’t underestimate the importance of cleaning the air vents. Many pets enjoy lying on or in front of air vents. Supply air vents emit conditioned air that many pets find enjoyable.
During the winter, you may discover your pet lying in front of a supply air vent for warmth. During the summer, you may discover your pet lying in front of a supply air vent to keep cool. Cleaning these and other air vents in your home will help to remove loose fur so that it doesn’t enter the ductwork and contribute to airborne pollution.
Vacuum, the Carpet
You should vacuum the carpet inside of your home at least once a week if you own a pet. Both dogs and cats shed their fur. Regardless of species, they typically shed their fur twice a year, once during the spring and another time during the fall. Vacuuming the carpet will remove this loose fur to promote cleaner air ducts and greater HVAC performance.
Watch the Outdoor Unit
Assuming you own a dog, you should keep him or her away from your HVAC system’s outdoor unit. The outdoor unit is the condenser unit. As the name suggests, it houses your HVAC system’s condenser coil, along with the compressor.
When allowing your dog to go outside, supervise him or her to ensure that your HVAC system’s outdoor unit remains untouched. Some dogs may mark their territory on the outdoor unit, whereas others may dig at the dirt around the outdoor unit.
Change the Air Filter
You’ll need to change your HVAC system’s air filter as well. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), air filters typically require changing once every month or two months during the summer. An exception, however, is pet-owning families. The DOE says that pet-owning families may need to change their air filter more frequently. Instead of once every month or two months, you may need to change it every three weeks – sometimes even more frequently.